How to start a new repository based on a skeleton project

When you start a new project it is best to stick to some best practices. Skeleton projects provide a basis for starting your project with a good directory structure, documentation, and configuration.

The skeleton project from ThePhpLeague is such a project. It provides all common files, such a composer.json, a PHPUnit configuration file and a README.

But how do you easily start a new project with this skeleton as a basis? Let's find out!

Checkout the skeleton project

Let us first clone the skeleton project and configure it to our needs. The following command will checkout the project into the my-project directory:

git clone my-project

Now we should configure the skeleton project. Cd into the my-project directory and start the prefill.php script that comes with the skeleton. It will ask you all necessary details to get started.

cd my-project
php prefill.php # and follow the instructions
rm prefill.php

Check if everything is set up as you like. In my case, I had to ignore the .idea directory that PHPStorm automatically creates.

Commit your changes but do not push them yet.

Link it to your own repository

Now it is time to create a new repository on your favorite version control service, like Github or BitBucket. Be sure to use the same vendor and package name that you have configured in the skeleton code.

The remote origin is still set to the thephpleague/skeleton repository.

vagrant@homestead:~/Code/php-cca$ git remote -v
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

To be able to push the code to our own repository, we have to replace the remote origin repository. This can be done with these 2 commands:

git remote remove origin
git remote add origin

Now it should be pointing to our own repository.

vagrant@homestead:~/Code/php-cca$ git remote -v
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

Create a clean first commit

So now we have set everything up and can commit our code. There is just one final caveat: the skeleton project has its own history and commit log. Personally, I don't want that history to show up in my new projects history.

We can solve this by creating a new orphan branch. The following command will create a branch called develop without any of the history of the original branch:

git checkout --orphan develop

Now we can commit and push our changes. Delete any local branches that you don't want to keep and we are done setting up our shiny new repository. All is set to start coding, happy developing!

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